ABC’s ‘Royal Wedding AR’ Is An Augmented Experience Fit For A Prince

Misplace your invitation to the royal festivities? Us too. Luckily ABC has all the British jubilation you can handle via their brand new AR experience.

Things are beginning to heat up as what may very well be the biggest wedding of 2018 continues to inch closer. The world’s most popular redhead, Prince Harry, and retired American actress Meghan Markle are getting hitched, and to help get you into the Royal Wedding spirit ABC News has enhanced their news app to include a Royal Wedding AR experience chock full of royal British history and a variety of augmented goodies.

Developed by ABC News alongside mixed reality creative agency Trigger as an extension of the official ABC News app, The Royal Wedding AR expansion transport Windsors Castle all the way from the English county of Berkshire directly into your home, allowing you to pose for photos and videos with the Royal Carriage as well as the Queens Guard. All of which can then be shared with friends and family via social media. 

To launch, simply open the ABC News app, head over to the app menu, and then choose Royal Wedding AR.

ABC News’s AR enhancement doesn’t provide you with any type of news coverage or additional information about the wedding, but what it does do is bring an interactive layer to the Royal event that has never before existed. Normally, your participation with high profile weddings or events of this nature happens exclusively through various media outlets or the various social outlets of famous attendees. The Royal Wedding AR enhancement breaks down that seemingly impenetrable barrier to deliver a more intimate royal wedding experience. 

ABC News and Trigger see an opportunity to change how we participate with the news by using AR to enhance traditional news by allowing you to play a role in the story itself  via immersive technology such as AR &VR. The goal is to drive engagement with its viewers through unique, interactive experiences that you couldn’t otherwise achieve through traditional text or video news products.

Internal testing at ABC has shown that Royal Wedding fanatics not only thoroughly enjoyed sharing photos and videos of the Royal AR models to their friends and family, but also felt that they were adding to the dialog of the story itself in the process.

“The Royal Wedding is a newsworthy event that interests a broad audience,” said Doug Vance, VP of product development at ABC News during an email exchange with Multichannel News. “We’ve previously created special products for William and Kate’s wedding, as well as the birth of their first child, George, and we felt this celebratory event would be an excellent showcase of AR technology.”

This isn’t the first time that ABC News has used immersive technology as part of their news broadcasts.  The prominent U.S. broadcaster has used AR and VR in the past, including a piece revolving around female heart attacks, as well as when Meteorologist Ginger Zee swam with sharks during a live 360 video broadcast. But this Royal AR app enhancement is a first for ABC News in that it was developed by ABC News using Apple’s ARKit, and is available directly through their app.

For now, ABC News hasn’t announced any future plans involving AR and the ABC News app, but it’s safe to say that the Royal Wedding AR enhancement won’t be the company’s last venture into this type of experience.

The Royal Wedding AR enhancement is available now on the iOS App store via the official ABC News app. If you already have the app installed, a simple update will reveal the brand new AR functionality.

If you’re posting your photos and videos on social media, use the hashtag #RoyalWeddingAR, and you may see your post on Good Morning America!

Image Credit: ABC News

About the Scout

Bobby Carlton

Hello, my name is Bobby Carlton. When I'm not exploring the world of immersive technology, I'm writing rock songs about lost love. I'd also like to mention that I can do 25 push-ups in a row.

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